American cyclist withdraws from Rio Olympics consideration due to Zika

Thursday June 2nd, 2016

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U.S. cyclist Tejay van Garderen has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Rio Olympic Games due to concerns over the Zika virus, reports Dave Skretta of the Associated Press. 

Garderen is worried that he could contract the mosquito-borne illness and infect his pregnant wife, who is due to have a child in October. He is the only cyclist from the U.S. team who has withdrawn from consideration for the Olympics, and is believed to be the first athlete to pull out of the event because of the threat of contracting the virus. 

Last week, 150 health experts signed an open letter addressed to the World Health Organization that asked for the Rio Olympics to be postponed or relocationed because of Zika.

CHAVEZ: Djokovic, Serena still planning to play in Olympics despite Zika risk

Despite the concern, Rio organizing committee head Carlos Nuzman said that the virus does not pose a health threat that would justify calling off the games and that number of cases of Zika will decrease in the next few months.

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